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Frequently asked questions

Is Sharebay a barter site?

No. You have no obligation to reciprocate with the person you transact with, and in fact we advise against it.

Sharebay uses an implicit trade system where acts are not necessarily reciprocated by the same person or to the same value. Think of it as a ‘walled community’ of sharers where favours are reciprocated over time.

Do I have to offer something to be a member?

No, but you will have access to considerably more offers by offering at least one item or service. Remember, Sharebay is a community library and relies on its members to provide useful items and services for other members.

But I don't have anything to offer...

Everyone has some item or service they could offer another person. It could be as basic as offering to move boxes or just lending a listening ear.

Check out our templates page for some inspiration on easy offers. You'd be surprised what you have that could be of great value to someone else.

Why should I give my stuff away for free?

Sharebay provides an alternative way of doing business and getting resources outside the traditional trade model. Trade demands that you exchange like-for-like with the person you trade with - which is not always easy and can be limiting. Sharebay uses an implicit trading model, where, acts of generosity are reciprocated across the community over time instead of directly with the giver.

What if someone profits from my generosity?

The majority of users on Sharebay are people who genuinely want to help. But we also have various safeguards in place to ensure that members adhere to their original registration pledge.

The Trust Stripes tell you how much a member contributes. Also, you can read their transaction history in the Transaction Record on their profile page. Suspicious users and listings can be reported by anyone. When numerous reports are received their data is taken down immediately.

We always recommend checking a member’s profile before choosing to deal with someone you don't know.

What is the Transaction Record and why is it important?

Sharebay operates on reputation. Every time you complete a transaction, it gets added to the Public Transaction Record. The transaction record just shows who gave, who got, what they got and when they got it. This record is important to help users gain site reputation, and help users make informed decisions about who they deal with on the site. You can see the Public Transaction Record of a specific user by clicking on the green/red arrow scores displayed under the name in their profile or listing.

Every member also has a private Transaction Record where they can view all their current and previous transactions. (This record is only visible to you)

The item I want is in another country. How can I arrange delivery?

Where collection is not possible, it is the responsibility of the recipient to organise and pay for collection / delivery of the item. Most givers will happily package and send the item if you agree to pay the delivery costs. We recommend using Paypal to send money internationally.

Under no circumstances should you expect the giver to pay shipping costs.

The giver has not responded to my request. What can I do?

When you request an item, we notify the giver straight away. If they don't respond, we send them up to three reminders. There is no need for you to send reminder messages. If the giver does not respond within 60 days, the transaction is automatically cancelled.

I've given more than once or have many live offers. Why is my trust stripe still low?

The trust stripes are calculated using the unique number of times you gave to different members. Giving more than once to a single member only gets counted as one 'give', whereas giving to two members is counted as two gives, etc. This is to protect the community from would-be abusers.

For the same reason, we limit the number of trust stripe points a member can get by just listing an offer. You get one point for a live offer up to a maximum of three points for three offers. Further offers don't get counted towards your trust stripe. (Note, these restrictions only apply to your trust stripe level. Your full score of gives and offers can still be seen on your profile under the 'trust' bar)

Got a question? Get in touch.

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